Health, Wealth, this the gospel?

There is a religious doctrine with a large Evangelical Christian following in the United States that claims success and financial prosperity in your life is a result of God's favor. This is called the Prosperity Gospel.

The list of adherents to this theology, according to Wikipedia, reads like a religious all-star line up:

  • Kenneth Copeland
  • Benny Hinn
  • Nasir Saddiki
  • Robert Tilton
  • T.D. Jakes
  • Paul Crouch
  • Joel Osteen
  • Creflo Dollar
  • Mike Murdock
  • Joyce Meyer
  • Jesse Duplantis
  • Juanita Bynum
  • Kong Hee
  • Eddie Long
  • Brian Houston
  • Paula White
  • Peter Popoff
  • Phil Pringle
  • Chris Mentillo

Does God prosper righteous folks? Maybe, but not in the same way many of us would like to believe. The gospel makes no guarantee that folks who try to live righteously before God will be financially successful, for instance. On the contrary, empirical evidence from the gospel suggests that those who lived righteously before God were often very poor, having little or no possessions!

Living a right life before God doesn't guarantee riches or prosperity, and unfortunately many in the Prosperity Gospel movement stumble on this point.

A friend recently pointed me to the video below which harshly confronts this theology. I found it quite moving.


  1. A blogging friend wrote about the whole "word-faith movement" a bit ago. You might be interested in her post:

    No, we were not promised health, wealth and prosperity if we put our faith in Messiah. We were promised peace abundant and that He would never leave us. He also promised hard times, persecution even. Persecution isn't prosperity, at least not in my book. When we put our focus on stuff of this world then we have allowed those things to become idols in our hearts.

    Many are misled. There are many wolves in sheep's clothing.

  2. Thanks for posting that, your friend wrote an excellent article.

  3. Luke 12:30 For all the pagan nations in the world set their hearts on these things. Your Father (YHVH) knows that you need them too.
    Luke 12:31 Rather, seek his Kingdom; and these things will be given to you as well.

    What I find in my own life is that when I am seeking YHVH, the worldly things are not important. Seeking YHVH is more important than collecting wealth etc.

    Even King Solomon who had very much in the way of things in this world ends it like this:

    Eccl. 12:13 Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything: fear God, and keep his mitzvot; this is what being human is all about.

    Be Well


  4. Levi, thanks for that insight.

    I love the next verse from Ecclesiastes:

    Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
    Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the whole duty of man.

    For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

    This stresses the need for us to repent and get right with God for all the hidden things we do.

  5. I was watching Dr. Phil the other day (remember I am job hunting) and this guy has several kids, and keeps getting into these 'get rich quick' schemes and always fails. His electricity was cut off, then his water and he was days away from foreclosure. Yet through all of this he said he felt he was following G-d's will. WTF? Phil brought a preacher who quoted some new testament stuff that said it is required to provide for your family. That's where I think we have the divide. I think G-d wants us to take care of our families and will bless us so we can do that. Anything above that, we should consider such an extra reward that we distribute that to those who cannot meet the bare minimum. I hate those preachers out there who say through manipulation that G-d wants us to be rich.

  6. Leckey, thanks for posting.

    I wholeheartedly agree. Those Christian folks that are preaching you can use our Father to gain financial wealth are preaching a false Scripture.

    I think such Christians forget the Messiah's conversation with a rich man, recorded in the Christian Bible:

    As Yeshua started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good rabbi," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

    "Why do you call me good?" Yeshua answered. "No one is good—except God. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"

    "Rabbi," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."

    Yeshua looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

    At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

    Yeshua looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

    The disciples were amazed at his words. But Yeshua said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"

    Yeshua looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."

    Peter said to him, "We've left everything to follow you!"

    "I tell you the truth," Yeshua replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

    You'd think that Christians would be less focused on gaining wealth after reading such things. I think this highlights some spiritual hypocrisy in Christianity. Hopefully if I ever get rich, I'll keep this in mind.